Funny how ideas can collide, if you’re in the right frame of mind to be aware of them. Our brains are such coincidence machines. That’s how I felt when, only hours after posting the previous entry, I discovered the work of the Swiss/Italian/German/Japanese (!) artist Mario A.
Mario’s recent “Ma Poupée Japonaise” is a brilliant re-invention of Han Bellmer’s 1938 “La Poupée,” setting it on a sort of collision course with modern pop fetishisms like those of Mariko Mori (or on a related tangent, Lauren Greenfield’s Girl Culture — I might be mistaken, but when Courtney & I were in Harajuku a couple of years back, who did we see wandering through the teeny boppers & sporting a 6x7 Mamiya? I’m pretty sure it was Greenfield (we’d run into Jim Natchwey in Ebisu just the day before)).
Mario’s work is able to reference the past without longing to repeat it. While his project is B&W, he doesn’t just repeat all of Bellmer’s affectations, like the pink paper and the hand coloring. This Lens Culture page has a five-minute audio interview with Mario A. Mario’s commentary about gallery visitors in love with his poupée are fascinating.